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Preparing Principals to Raise Student Achievement

Preparing Principals to Raise Student Achievement: Implementation and Effects of the New Leaders Program in Ten Districts

Susan M. Gates
Laura S. Hamilton
Paco Martorell
Susan Burkhauser
Paul Heaton
Ashley Pierson
Matthew Baird
Mirka Vuollo
Jennifer J. Li
Diana Catherine Lavery
Melody Harvey
Kun Gu
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 148
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Preparing Principals to Raise Student Achievement
    Book Description:

    New Leaders is a nonprofit organization that partners with school districts to prepare and support principals. This report describes how the New Leaders program was implemented in partner districts, and it provides evidence of the effect that New Leaders has on student achievement.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8697-6
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xxvi)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxvii-xxviii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxix-xxx)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    At the turn of the new millennium, many public school districts in the United States faced a crisis in school leadership characterized by numerous challenges: high turnover, difficulties finding people to replace departing principals, and a perception that the newly hired principals lacked the skills to succeed in their new positions (Gates et al., 2003). Concerns about an adequate supply of school leaders emerged at a point in time when the role of the principal had become more important than ever because of increased focus on their contribution to student outcomes. A growing body of research evidence indicates that school...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Research Methods
    (pp. 7-16)

    To address the research questions described in Chapter One, we carried out six key research tasks:

    analysis of student-achievement data

    principal surveys

    analysis of survey data linked to student-achievement data

    analysis of principal-tenure data

    nested case studies of first-year principals

    analysis of other qualitative data gathered for this study.

    We combined data sources and analytical approaches to address the research questions and synthesized those findings to develop our conclusions and implications. These tasks correspond to the research questions as shown in Table 2.1.

    In this chapter, we provide a brief overview of each research task.

    The student-achievement data analysis compared...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Overview of the New Leaders Program and District Partnership Approach
    (pp. 17-36)

    Founded in 2000, New Leaders is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a cadre of “transformational school leaders” and promoting “effective leadership policies and practices for school systems across the country” through partnerships with school districts and CMOs (New Leaders, undated [a]). In this chapter, we describe the New Leaders program, how the organization partners with districts and CMOs, and how New Leaders has modified its program over the years.

    The backdrop for New Leaders’ founding and evolution is the spirit ofsocial entrepreneurship(Fast Company, 2008). There are many ways to define this term, but the main idea centers...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR New Leaders Partnerships
    (pp. 37-58)

    Although New Leaders is a national organization, the program is executed in large part through New Leaders teams in close collaboration with local partners. Each New Leaders partner district is associated with a New Leaders city executive team. The city teams are responsible not only for managing the relationships with the relevant partner districts but also for implementing and monitoring the programs at the city level. This includes supporting the residents and monitoring their progress. The conditions in the local district and the nature and duration of the partnership influence the residency experience, the number of individuals placed as principals...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Analysis of Impacts on Student Achievement
    (pp. 59-76)

    In this chapter, we describe the impact of the New Leaders program on the outcomes of students in schools led by New Leaders principals. To estimate this impact, we compared the outcomes of students who are in schools led by New Leaders principals for some amount of time with the outcomes of otherwise comparable students in other schools. Our analytical approach attempts to isolate the effect of the New Leaders principal from other factors that might drive differences in student outcomes for students in New Leaders schools, such as prior student-achievement levels. We have explored a wide range of methods...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Factors Associated with New Leaders Program Effects
    (pp. 77-98)

    The findings presented in Chapter Five suggest that, in some contexts but not in all, students in schools led by New Leaders principals exhibited greater achievement gains than those in schools led by other principals. However, the achievement analysis does not reveal the reasons for these differences (or lack of differences). Although this research was not designed to attribute outcomes to specific program components or conditions definitively, we addressed our fourth research question by conducting some exploratory analyses to identify factors that could plausibly have influenced the achievement results. We examine three broad sets of factors:

    characteristics of the districts...

  15. CHAPTER SEVEN Conclusion
    (pp. 99-110)

    In the preceding chapters, we described New Leaders’ approach to improving school leadership and the extent to which the approach has been associated with changes in student achievement. In this chapter, we summarize the key findings and discuss their implications for policymakers and practitioners who are interested in improving the quality and effectiveness of school leaders.

    New Leaders strives to ensure high academic achievement for all students through improvements in school leadership. To achieve that goal, it designed an approach that involved both preparing high-quality principals and partnering with school districts to improve the conditions in which principals work. Their...

  16. References
    (pp. 111-118)